Karumba benefits from New Century dredging investment

Dredging is under way at to deepen the channel to the Port of Karumba.
Dredging is under way at to deepen the channel to the Port of Karumba.

THE reestablishment of mining operations in Karumba is reopening opportunities in the town with a channel dredging program allowing access for live export ships.

New Century Mine took control of mining assets in the beginning of 2017 with operations set to resume in August this year.

Head of Corporate Affairs Shane Goodwin said the previous owners and operators of Century Mine undertook dredging of the Karumba channel to allow access for their vessel, but that ceased when the mine shut down.

He said New Century had worked to reestablish the dredging program to deepen the channel at Karumba ahead of the mine’s reopening, which had flow on effects for the region.

”We entered into discussion with the port’s owners Port’s North some months ago, and they were obviously happy for the dredging to occur with full cost recovery,” Mr Goodwin said.

“We will be ensuring the channel depth is maintained for the life of the operations, which is about 6.5 years.

Mr Goodwin said they were dredging to a depth of about 3.2 metres, with tonnes of sediment being removed.

They will maintain the channel depth with an ongoing program, with vessels working to remove sediment every year or two.

Mr Goodwin said live export was another industry which would benefit from the program.

“One of the things we talk about with the Queensland Government trying to develop the North-West minerals province and encourage other mining developments in the region, we see an opportunity at the Port of Karumba and our role in seeing ships continue coming out of Karumba.

“Live export with benefit from that arrangement and we hope to see other mining operations take advantage of the Port of Karumba too.”

Mr Goodwin said the mine would generate employment opportunities in the region, with about 50-100 people working at Karumba at any one time, with the Lawn Hill mine employing another 150-200 people.

He said the mine was hoping to employ as many locals as possible, but said there would be a fly-in, fly-out component to the workforce.